Rextail is the combination of two words: Tyrannosaurus Rex and Oxtail. “We thought the name represented well the place we had in mind and the animal heads, hanging on the walls, were chosen to remind customers that here they can enjoy meat of any type, cooked in every possible way”. With these words, a smiling Stefano Marotta started our interview. He is a skilful Assistant Manager with a WSET background, a strong passion for wines and an unlimited experience gained on the ground that allows him to masterly manage the whole wine list as well as coordinating the international staff.
“It was thrilling to see the restaurant taking shape, day by day. The atmosphere recalls an Eastern gypsy market with fusion food available, a strong search for details (reflected even in the tail decorated cutlery), lots of energy and positive people. Mr Novikov comes every month to check everything works perfectly. He aims to achieve perfection and therefore he invests in the best staff; the Head Chef Carmelo Carnevale, multi-award winning Italian chef of Sicilian origin and chairman of the delegation APCI UK (Italian Professional Chefs Association), makes unique recipes decorated with floral petals to add extra colour to his dishes. The General Manager, Carla Conte, ensures that all our customers receive a warm welcome at the bar where they are served with a fantastic selection of martini cocktails, before proceeding to the table”.
“It is such a fortune to be able to work with the best labels in the world. The greatest satisfaction for me," Stefano points out "is that we have customers who can afford expensive bottles and they know what they choose. I like to decant the wine with the candle like in the old days because I think we need to preserve tradition in the world of fine wines. We have 320 labels that include old vintages of Super Tuscans, Burgundy, Bordeaux, wines from Spain and the rest of the world. We wanted to have a fine selection of wines and we buy from the most respected distributors in the UK. The biodynamic wines represent a big portion of our portfolio”.
Stefano sincerely admits there are not many wines at £20 but at least fifty references are between £25 and £35 at a good quality level. By next year, he is planning to reach 400 labels on his wine list. “I am also planning to organise master classes and evening tastings to present new wines and show the fine bottles available at Rextail" Stefano reveals.
When it comes to the food, the focus is again on top quality: the famous Paxton & Whitfield have been appointed for the cheeses; Aubrey Allen, established in 1933, guarantees English Wagyu beef from Suffolk and even puts his signature on their exclusive menu. “We are entitled to two cattle a month from Allen and the quality of the meat speaks for itself”, Stefano comments.
“The sharing dishes include finest Spanish charcuterie, like Pata Negra, Lomo Iberico Cinco Jotas premium quality salami (5J’s) and our customers can choose from twenty types of meat among which even Halal and several organic products are made available. The menu changes every week and the pasta dishes vary every season in order to make use of only the freshest ingredients.
We started a series of free events last week with live music and flamenco groups performing during dinner, livening up the evening. We are planning other musical events in the wake of this first successful show”.
Stefano, if you invited your wife for a special dinner out, what would you order at Rextail?
“I would start with appetisers of fish, octopus carpaccio, followed by salmon tartare, accompanied by two glasses of Gavi di Gavi or Chablis. Afterwards, I would go for a new entry meat dish on the menu that is the Porterhouse Steak (900gr) to share with sides of vegetables, truffle and Parmesan allumette chips, sautéed spinach leaf and green beans, all should be beautifully paired with a Château de Pez. For dessert, I will choose the famous super Napoleon (a Russian thick millefoglie with Chantilly cream and icing sugar on top) which is pure enjoyment! A grappa would be the happy ending to our meal and then I would take my wife to the vibrant Rififi club, just round the corner" Stefano concludes pleasantly winking.
Check out the Wine Menu at Rextail and more on their website: http://www.rextail.co.uk/drinks-menu/
Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?
REXTAIL is set to Host an Enthralling Evening of Entertainment on December 31st 2014.
Please bring your friends and dine in style with Ronnie Scott’s Resident , American Jazz/Swing singer KAI HOFFMAN, then after dinner greet The New year with our in House DJ and Dance the night away into 2015!http://www.rextail.co.uk/